Tag Archives: New

Aussie Pop-Rockers Tonight Alive Tackle US with “Breaking & Entering”

Fancy yourself a fan of the pop-punk rock?  What about cute Aussie females taking over vocal duties?  If you said yes to either of the two, then you need to check to Tonight Alive.  I am pretty sure fans of Paramore will be digging this band in 2012.  Having already toured the US in 2011 including a slot at Bamboozle, the band is scheduled to return in 2012 to tour in support of their upcoming release on Fearless Records.

‘What Are You So Scared Of?’ Full Album Teaser by tonightalive

You may have already heard of the band as they covered Mumford and Sons’ “Little Lion Man” on the Fearless Records Punk Goes Pop Volume 4 and if not, you need to:

Here’s their video for “Breaking & Entering”, the band’s first single off their upcoming release What Are You So Scared Of? due out on Valentine’s Day:

Formed in Sydney in 2008, Tonight Alive is made up of ingénue-with-attitude Jenna McDougall (vocals), Jake Hardy (guitar), Whakaio Taahi (guitar/vocals), Cam Adler (bass) and Matt Best (drums). The quintet finished 2011 with a bang in the U.S. with the release of a new EP, Consider This, a viral cover of Mumford & Sons hit song “Little Lion Man” from Punk Goes Pop Volume 4 and dates on The Fearless Friends tour with blessthefall, garnering them an impressive following in the US and around the world. The band explodes into 2012, kicking off their European tour with Never Shout Never this week before heading back to Australia for Soundwave Festival in February.


Not a lot of new albums have been catching my ears as of late, but L.A.’s letlive. has grabbed my attention with their latest post-hardcore release.  Following the lines of Glassjaw and Refused, this is the music that needs to stick around.  Hell I can even hear a little Blood Brothers and At The Drive In in their music and I really find that awesome.

letlive. has been around since 2002, but recently signed with Epitaph and their album Fake History is dropping April 12th for your listening pleasure.  Rumor has it that their live shows are absolutely insane.  Here’s hoping for a Cleveland show to see if that is true.

Check out their video for “Renegade 86”:

Here’s a video for “The Sick, Sick 8.6 Billion” their dropped on their MySpace page:

letlive. – “The Sick, Sick, 6.8 Billion”

letlive | Myspace Music Videos

EP Review: The Wealthy West – Volume 1 – An EP

I am back.  That’s right folks, I survived the mean streets of West Virginia once again.  After a week-long escape from everything, I am back.  I have a test already in the class I decided to take this summer so most of this weekend will be focused on studying for that.  I am, however, in need of a break so I thought I would hammer out a quick review of a pretty sweet up and coming folk act.

I would imagine that most of my readers know I have a certain love for Austin, TX.  I think everyone needs to check out that amazing city at least once in their lifetime.  I know I am itching to get back there one day soon.  Anyways, I speak of Austin because that is where Brandon Kinder who goes under the moniker The Wealthy West resides.

Many may know Kinder from The Rocketboys, an indie rock group that he supplies lead vocals to.  Kinder decided to try something on his own, a more personal folky project he calls The Wealthy West.  Fans of soft-spoken indie / folk music (Americana) will really get a kick out of his five song EP entitled Volume 1 – An EP.  It is powerful in the heartfelt department and can easily be compared to Ray LaMontange, Joe Purdy, Frightened Rabbit, and even that of the Avett Brothers.

“Love Is Not Enough” starts off the EP with a nice acoustic riff accompanied by piano playing making for a fun track that just seemed to end way too soon.  “Another Bad Idea” followed in a more gentle indie rock sound that included background vocals and even chimes.

Once I heard “Give Me Resurrection”, I could not help but think of Purdy and LaMontange as Kinder sings slowly over a faint playing acoustic guitar accompanied by whispering background vocals.  The song was really a beautiful piece to check out and had powerful lyrics focusing around the strength of love.  “Home” picked things up in the EP with harmonica joining Kinder’s signing.  “Not A Pretty Pair” ended the quick EP with a more driven sound throughout although singing of remaining stationary due to lack of time.

It’s no mystery anymore, Americana is where it’s at these days and Kinder has no problem writing his own songs to accompany the latest and greatest of a very solid genre of music.  Volume 1 – An EP was a nice and quick listen leaving me, the listener, wanting much more to hear.  With only five songs, I am curious to see what else Kinder has to offer in the near future.

The Wealthy West - Love Is Not Enough

Album Review: Fact To Face – Laugh Now, Laugh Later

I am seriously in an old school punk rock overload as of late these days and could not be happier. It seems as if all these bands I used to adore as a kid are coming out of the woodwork and are releasing albums as well as touring in support of them.  In the last week alone I have seen live performances by some amazing bands from the 80s and 90s including Bad Religion and Strung Out. There is one band though that I was most excited for, a band that I was more or less obsessed with in my high school years.

Seeing Face To Face live completely blew me away.  I saw them last summer at the Warped Tour and they sounded great, but their set was so short it was almost depressing.  For more on the show check out the review I posted last week.

Let’s talk about Face To Face…

Trever Keith and company may have stated that Face To Face was done back in 2004 due to indifferences, but just four years later the band decided to regroup but had no plans on releasing new material.  Featuring Keith (the only original member), Chad Yaro, Scott Schiflett, and Danny Thompson, the California punk rock act is back in the scene.  Not only have they been hitting the roads, but they have also decided to drop an all new album titled Laugh Now, Laugh Later on Antagonist Records. This is the band’s first album release in almost eight years.

“Should Anything Go Wrong” opened the album off strong and almost sounded as if the band never took a break.  With a catchy chorus and fierce guitar playing, the song reminded me why I have loved this band for so long.  “It’s All About You” follow and was a little less intense, but Keith’s lyrics just made the song as well as the fun guitars throughout, especially midway through.  Just two songs in on the album and I was already impressed.

“The Invisible Hand” was an instant classic to my ears.  With lyrics of trying to grasp on to what you can not have, the track immediately was lodged in my mind.  Although I liked the bass lines in “Bombs Away”, I felt the song was a little too Ignorance Is Bliss for me and I just could not get into it.  “Blood In The Water” was a good track though and begged for another listen as was “What You Came For”.  “I Don’t Mind And You Don’t Matter” really could have been left off the album as it just did not fit in with the rest.

“Stopgap” was a nice harsh track with Keith repeating  “you got something you want to say to me / so what’s your story better get it straight / don’t waste my time with your apologies” throughout carried by some great guitar work and drumming.  In a more positive feel, “All For Nothing” was a decent love song that had a couple Social D-sounding notes thrown about.

“Pushover” tried hard to hang on to the old school Face To Face sound.  While the track sounded great, I felt the bass riffs could have been faster and heavier.  They seemed to hide behind a lot of the track on the album, especially this one.  The track was also incredibly short and just dropped off leaving “Under The Wreckage” to close things up on the album.

interviewed Keith a few years back and remember him saying that they missed playing shows and he had no intentions on recording new material.  It did not sound like he was that excited to create a new album as much as he was with playing older material, but I am pretty sure the tables have turned.  Laugh Now, Laugh Later may not be the best thing I have heard come from Face To Face, but there are a couple gems in there.  I am just more thrilled the band is back and doing their thing.

As previously mentioned, I saw them live about a week ago and they killed it on stage.  Throughout their set their played three of the new tracks and, to me, they fit in just fine with all of the classics they created years ago.  The one thing though that impressed me the most though was how happy Keith and crew were on stage.  They were having a good time doing what they love best and as a fan, I could not ask for anything more.

Album Review: Swingin’ Utters – Here, Under Protest

I am sitting here trying to figure out how to start this review about an Oi!/Street Punk/Folk band that has been around for over two decades.  They are one of the O.F.W.C. (Original Fat Wreck Chords – I made that up) members and have been a huge influence to my punk rock ears ever since I was a teen.

The band I speak of is none other than the Swingin’ Utters and after eight years, the band has dropped Here, Under Protest, perhaps the best thing I have heard ever from the San Francisco band.  Seriously, I can not stop listening to this album, it is amazing.

Where do I start?  Could it be that the band sounds more polished than ever?  Could it be that Johnny Bonnel, Spike Slawson (Me First & The Gimme Gimmes), Daris Koski AND Jack Dalrymple (Dead To Me) share singing duties throughout the release without any sort of conflict?  With all the elements making up the Utters these days, one would think they are a modern day punk rock superband, one I should add that is not a complete joke.

Orson Welles is heard at the beginning of the CD saying “here under protest is beef burgers.”  This line comes from the historic film icon when he was narrating a advertisement for a British company called Findus.  Yes, I searched the internet to find that out.  I knew it was his voice the moment I heard it, but wanted to know more.

“Brand New Lungs” started off the album and I knew right then that the album was going to be an instant gem.  Granted I already had heard the song last summer when the band dropped a 3-song 7″ to tide fans over till the full-length released, the fact of the matter is that the song is solid and perhaps the catchiest track on the entire album.  Bonnel’s raspy voice has never been more welcomed to my ears during this song.

“Taking The Long Way” followed and just kept that great sound continuing to impress me.  The lyrics were interesting as they spoke of basically planting your feet.  “Kick It Over”, featuring Koski on vocals, was a great track that shied away from the usual Utters sound and hinted back to the earlier days of punk rock.  “Good Things” was a little heavier with Bonnel just giving reasons throughout to get hammered.  They don’t call him Johnny “Piss Pants” for nothing you know…  “Heavy Head” was just a smooth track – Nothing more, nothing less.

“(You’ve Got To) Give It All To The Man” was the heaviest, old-school Utters sounding track on the entire album.  Fast paced and to the point, this song screamed 90’s punk rock all the way through.  “Time On My Own” had Koski back on lead vocals and continued with that fun punk rock vibe that took me back to a teen.

The folky “Scary Brittle Frame” may have sounded like nothing else on the album, but it was my favorite track.  I really wish the Utters would just drop an all folk album one of these days.  They do such a great job creating songs here and there that can be found throughout their catalog it would just make sense a full length.

The final track on the album, “Effortless Amnesiac”, was another catchy as hell punk track with Dalrymple taking over vocal duties.  After hear this track I really hope, should he stick around with the band, that he be featured on more future tracks seeing how his singing fit in so well with the music.

It amazes me that a band that has been in the game for so long still has no problem creating such a great release.  Here, Under Protest is good, wholesome punk rock from a group of guys who know exactly what they are capable of.

This new Utters mateiral may not be as Oi!/Street Punk/Folky as they used to be and rub off more as Filthy Theiving Bastards at times, but that is ok by me.  Here, Under Protest, hands down, is one of my favorite punk rock albums so far in 2011.  20 years in the business is never an easy feat, but the Utters have no problem continuing onward.

Swingin' Utters - Taking The Long Way